For people who have attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, they are probably familiar with Rule 62 already. According to this rule, “Don’t take yourself too seriously” when you are in recovery. While many people are aware what Rule 62 is, there are still a lot of those who are unsure about what it really means. Does it mean that you should approach recovery with a carefree attitude? Isn’t it counterproductive not to take sobriety seriously? It’s not unusual for people to overthink what this rule is actually saying and they start to confuse themselves more in the process. This is probably one of the reasons why Rule 62 was created in the first place.
This rule is not meant to take away from the hard work and efforts of a person while struggling with alcoholism. What it tries to communicate is that even if substance abuse recovery is quite a significant process one should take seriously, there’s no need to go through it with a grim and grumpy attitude. You can have fun and adopt a positive attitude which will make you feel better during the process. If you’re still not sure how to do that, here are some tips that might help.
1. Be open to change
You may be surprised to know that even at their lowest points, people still refuse to drop their harmful habits or attitudes, thinking that these are manageable or these are the causes of their abuse problems. When you’re in recovery, you should adopt an open mindset that your life is about to change.
Your past beliefs, habits, and routines may be challenged beyond your normal limits. Instead of fighting this change, accept it with open arms. Keep in mind that the reason you are in recovery is because you want to make your life better than what it is.
2. Laugh at yourself
There are many jokes, songs, and quotes about people in recovery. Most of the time, the jokes are funny because you’ve experienced the situation and could relate to it. When you hear jokes like these, it’s okay to laugh and to even engage in jokes. Consider it as a form of release as well as the ability to look back at your experience and accept that it is a part of your past. As the late celebrity star Joan Rivers once said, “If you can laugh about it, then you can deal with it.”
Laughing at yourself and with other people is also a lighthearted way to approach a very serious matter. It also helps build camaraderie and trust among AA members. When you frown, cry, or act upset all the time, you’re not only affecting yourself but also the people around you. It is normal to shed a tear or feel down once in a while but to permanently stay this way is only hurting yourself and the people you love.
3. Socialize and make new friends
Many people in recovery develop trust issues and tend to isolate themselves. They don’t feel comfortable in socializing with new people and building new relationships. The problem with this is that if you keep yourself always alone, it will be very difficult to avoid feeling depressed.
Recovery is about building a new life and in the process, you should surround yourself with positive people who can help you make a long-lasting change. You can start with the people in your AA group or by joining organizations that will expose you to new people.
4. Attend fun events
Just because you’re in recovery does not mean that you can’t have fun. Recovery is not about punishing yourself because of your past deeds. It is about discovering that there’s more to your substance addiction and you can achieve happiness in a healthy way.
There are many sober events where you can have fun without alcohol. At the Lighthouse Treatment Center, for instance, we encourage our alumni to take part in exciting activities such as going to a whale watching cruise trip, attending a sober music festival, chili cook-offs, and more.
5. Find new hobbies
Boredom is a common reason why people drink alcohol and engage in harmful substances. When you’re in recovery, being idle gives you time and opportunity to think about your past addiction. Keeping yourself busy by pursuing a new hobby is a great way to have fun as well as find a new passion. If you don’t know where to start, here are 99 things you can do sober!
6. Conquer your fears
Do you feel uncomfortable talking in front of many people? Join a theater club. Are you scared of heights? Try bungee jumping or an extreme sport. Sometimes the best way to let loose and get over your fears is to face them head on. Don’t overthink it and come up with numerous excuses why you shouldn’t do so. Just go for it and you’ll be surprised how these could not only help you overcome your fears but also put back excitement in your sobriety journey.
7. Set new goals
While it is important to understand the past in order for you to correct your mistakes and move forward, you should not always dwell on these negative experiences to the point that it is already affecting your future. You are more than your addiction which means you deserve to find a new purpose in life and succeed in it. Recovery is a great time to set new goals and envision an amazing future ahead of you.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, you don’t need to deal with it alone. Help is available. Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center to learn more.